If I were to ask you to tell me a little bit about yourself, what is the first thing you would say?
Maybe you would tell me a little about your job, your family, your hobbies. (We’re all a little more in touch with those right now, aren’t we)? Or maybe you’d go straight for your hidden talents, your dreams for the future –– not who you are, but who you want to be.
If you had asked me at one time in my life, I would have answered without hesitation: “I’m a musician.” But it wasn’t just my musical interest that I identified with so heavily, it was everything that went along with it. Being a bass player was my life. Being part of a band, being on stage, being in the music world day in and day out –– it was all I wanted to be. It became my identity.
That identity was false.
Now don’t get me wrong, music was — and still is — a huge part of my life! My love for music will always be part of my identity, but when I tried to make it my everything, it wasn’t enough.
We find identity in plenty of things: success, money, accomplishment, even our insecurities and struggles. The problem is, none of these things speak to who we really are. They are all a front, a show. They’re false identities, the version of ourselves that we want the world to look at. The more time and effort we put into building these false identities, the emptier we will feel.
Often, we don’t even recognize these “false selves” that we show the world. We’ve been wearing these masks for so long that we don’t even see them as false. So what do we do? How can we find our true identity, if we don’t even know what is true and what is false?
Brothers and sisters, we need to fix our eyes on the One who created us.
We are made in the image of God, designed uniquely and individually. The answer to finding our “truest self” is not found deep within ourselves. While introspection can be helpful, the truth about us does not lie within us. The truth lies with the One who made us.
As we fix our gaze on Jesus, we long to become who he created us to be. As we sense his loving gaze on us, our false selves have nowhere left to hide.
Why do we find so much comfort in our false identities? Very often, it comes from a desperate desire to belong. We don’t want to feel like an imposter anymore. We want to fit, and we’re terrified of what people would think if they saw our truest self. What if people were to realize that we actually don’t know everything? What if we slip up and they see that we are insecure and flawed?
The key to surrendering these identities is more than just ignoring them or painting over them. We need to set them down at the feet of Jesus, then turn and walk away from them. The Scriptures call this repentance. Those false identities are more than just inconvenient, they are keeping us from God’s best! Our false identities are just the outgrowth of our sin nature, trying to take back the life that we’ve surrendered to Jesus. When we make the daily choice to turn from them, we will find that there is a whole lot more room in our lives.
We will find that suddenly, we can be who God is calling us to be. We will find that we are free. It is this freedom that allows us to become our truest self, the version of us that we were created to be. That authenticity is what God wants for his children, and it is found when we place our identity in Christ.